Hey guys,

I wanted to take a few days to reflect and absorb the training and see how some of the suggestions and realizations from last week played out once I was back in “the real world”, before sending this email to you. I won’t lie and tell you that I did not come into this training with a certain amount of skepticism. I have done a few of these types of things over my career before and quite frankly, I thought they were a great way for the people presenting to make a living. I mean, you get to stand up in front of a room full of people and tell them how to be a better (fill in the blank here), and how to contribute to their companies in a more effective manner. And get payed for it!

A few things that I observed to help make this a different dynamic are as follows.

  1. You all sat at the same level as us.
    • There wasn’t any feeling of this being a PRESENTATION. It truly felt like a discussion. Which I’m sure was by design. It made it so comfortable to actually share thoughts and ideas. It’s much easier to check out when you are being “talked to”.
      1. I have tried to be mindful of my body language and positioning when I have had discussions with team members, co-workers, or family.
  2. You allowed us to have different goals.
    • What I mean by this is, you allowed us to have different end games for this training. I know some of the team wanted to try to reach problem employees or be a better manager, while some others wanted to focus on how to be a better husband, father or friend. As well as the evolution of that goal. Some of the statements about the takeaways at the end were not in line with what they thought they would get out of it.
      1. No names, but several folks that said they wanted to be a better manager or better leader at the end talked about not being real or open with personal relationships versus the professional aspect. I think the correlation between who you are outside of work, as a person, and who your team thinks you are was eye opening. At least it was to me!!
      2. I have made a concerted effort to try to make sure that I am sensitive to the fact that different people want/need different things. And that’s OK!
  3. You were real!
    • This is huge for me. I like to think that I have a pretty good B.S. meter and the minute the needle starts to move; I tend to shut down and just get through the interaction as quickly and painlessly as possible.
      1. From the second we came in, you all had big smiles and warm invite
      2. You shared personal stories that left you out there, vulnerable. This helped me be real and open.

I can’t tell you how much warmth and genuine compassion I felt from all of you during the training. I know my goodwill score is 96, which I’m sure contributes to me being a bit sappy at times, but I was a bit surprised that I got emotional in a room full of strangers when I talked about how I want to make things better with my family. I know that is a direct result of the environment that you ALL built over the course of the 3 days.

Not to keep going on, but I wanted to share a couple things that I have already done differently that I know was appreciated, even though nobody said a word. The first was as my family sat down for our weekly board game night, I made sure that I was the one to make sure that everyone had drinks, snacks whatever we needed before we started. That has always just been handled by Michelle, my wife. There is NO reason that she needs to be the last one to sit down, even if she doesn’t complain. Another thing is we were going to the grocery store and I turned the radio station to the one that my family likes. The world stopped for a minute…LOL . I despise 95% of the music on “their” station! I mean how can you go wrong with listening to Boston or Van Morrison??? But in that moment of pain and despair of listening to the latest and greatest from, whatever the flavor of the week was, I noticed all 3 of them kind of bounce their heads a bit to the rhythm. That was cool. I mean really, why should I get to decide what music we listen to ALL THE TIME? Just because I happen to be the one driving, which oh by the way, I don’t want anyone else to drive but me??? To quote a very wise man…that’s BAD, BAD, BAD. STOP IT! Haha, I must have heard Rick say that 40 times last week!!

Seriously guys, thank you all for the love and compassion that I felt from all of you. It means more than I can tell you! I look forward to speaking with you soon. Take care.

—Ernie Edgell, Manager C&I Field Sales: IGS Energy